If you have sensitive skin, then you know how hard it can be to find a toner that works for you.
Toners are usually made with harsher ingredients like alcohol or witch hazel. And if your skin is plagued with acne, redness, inflammation, rosacea, or any number of other causes of sensitive skin, finding one that does what you want it to do can be a nightmare!
Fortunately, our team of skincare experts has done the heavy lifting for you. We’ve searched far and wide of the best toner on the market – and in this comprehensive guide, you can read about all of them and pick the best one for you.
What does a toner do?
A toner is a skincare product that is typically used after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Toners are designed to remove any remaining traces of dirt, oil, or makeup from your skin.
They can also help to balance the pH of your skin and prepare it for the next steps in your skincare routine.
What is sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin is a type of skin that is easily irritated. It can be dry or oily, and it is often characterized by redness, itchiness, or burning. Sensitive skin can also be caused by conditions like eczema or rosacea.
If you have sensitive skin, it is important to use skincare products that are gentle and non-irritating. Harsh ingredients like alcohol or fragrance can cause inflammation and irritation, so it is best to avoid them if you have sensitive skin.
How to use a toner with sensitive skin
To use a toner, apply it to a cotton ball or pad and gently wipe it over your face. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing your skin, as this can irritate sensitive skin.
If your toner contains alcohol, you may want to dilute it with water before applying it to your face.
It is also a good idea to test any new skincare products on a small area of your skin before using them all over your face. This will help you to see how your skin reacts to the product and to avoid any potential irritation.
Choosing the best toner for sensitive skin: our 15 picks
Best toner overall: CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Toner
Did you know that hyaluronic acid can hold 1000x it’s weight in water? Adding this awesome ingredient to a toner makes short work of flaky skin.
And this toner from CeraVe is no different. It is free from harsh ingredients like alcohol and fragrance, and its hyaluronic acid maximizes the skin’s hydration levels with just one application.
Best budget: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Face Toner
If you’re looking for a toner for sensitive skin but are on a budget, then you might like this toner from La Roche-Posay.
It contains salicylic acid to help exfoliate and unclog pores, and it is free from harsh ingredients like alcohol and fragrance.
Best for dry skin: Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner
Dry skin is one of those skin types that can be both painful and unsightly.
This toner from Kiehl’s is a solid choice for dry, sensitive skin. It is alcohol-free and contains calendula, aloe vera, and witch hazel.
If you don’t like that formulation, then you might choose Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner.
Best for acne-prone skin: Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
Acne-prone skin is the worst! Not only is it one of the hardest skin types to buy products for, but keeping the skin healthy is a constant challenge.
If you’re struggling with breakouts, this toner from Mario Badescu could be a good option for you. It contains glycolic acid to help exfoliate and unclog pores, and it also has witch hazel to help reduce inflammation.
Best for combination skin: First Aid Wild Oat Hydrating Toner
Combination skin: what an annoying skin type! It’s like, can you make up your mind? Do you want to be oily or dry? Jeez.
If you have combination skin, this toner from First Aid Beauty is a great choice. It contains probiotics to help balance the skin’s microbiome, and it also has willow bark extract to help exfoliate and unclog pores.
Best with amino acids: Paula’s Choice Enriched Calming Toner
If you’re looking for smoother skin, then you should look into trying skincare products with amino acids. Not only is it gentle on irritated skin, but this toner from Paula’s Choice helps remove dead skin cells with zero discomfort.
Additionally, the amino acids can help balance an uneven skin tone. Very nice for an alcohol-free toner!
Best for damaged skin: Derma E Vitamin C & Glycolic Acid Toner
Looking for the best toner for damaged skin? You need something with vitamin E.
Whether it’s from the sun, scarring, or just mature skin, this gentle toner deserves a spot in your skin care routine. It contains vitamin E and C to keep the skin healthy.
Not only that, but the glycolic acid helps curb excess oil production. It’s not the best choice for acne-prone skin, but if you have a damaged skin type, then you’ll appreciate what this one has to offer.
Best with vitamin C: Skinceuticals C + AHA Toner
Lack of vitamin C causes all sorts of skin concerns. Which is why this toner from Skinceuticals made our list for the best toners for sensitive skin.
Not only does it provide ample amounts of vitamin C (good for all skin types), but it adds AHA to help remove dead skin cells that may be left behind.
While it’s not a hydrating toner, it does a good job of keeping dry skin from getting flaky and rough.
Best with vitamin E: Clearly Corrective™ Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water
This toner from Kiehl’s contains vitamin E to help soothe and calm the skin, and it also has glycerin to help hydrate and improve skin texture. And when you have dry skin, that’s exactly what you need.
This hydrating toner is best applied to damp skin. As any board-certified dermatologist will tell you, products with vitamin E work better on skin that has a little moisture still on it.
Best Korean toner: Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
When it comes to Korean skincare, Corsx is a brand to know.
This Korean toner from Cosrx is a good choice for those with sensitive skin. It contains AHA and BHA to help exfoliate and unclog pores, and it also has witch hazel to help reduce inflammation.
10 tips for using a toner on sensitive skin
When using a toner on sensitive skin, it’s important to remember these tips:
- Avoid toners that contain alcohol, fragrance, or other harsh ingredients.
- Look for toners that contain hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and plump the skin.
- Choose a toner that contains salicylic acid if you’re struggling with breakouts.
- If you have oily skin, look for a toner that contains mattifying ingredients.
- If you have dry skin, choose a toner that is alcohol-free and contains soothing ingredients like calendula.
- If you have combination skin, look for a toner that contains probiotics to help balance the skin’s microbiome.
- If you have sensitive skin, look for a toner that contains amino acids to help the skin heal faster.
- If you have damaged skin, choose a toner that contains glycolic acid to help exfoliate and unclog pores.
- If you have sensitive skin, avoid using a toner more than once a day.
- Always follow up with a moisturizer to help hydrate and protect the skin.
Toners are an important step in any skincare routine, but they are especially important for those with sensitive skin.
By choosing a toner that contains the right ingredients for your specific type of sensitive skin, you will improve your skin’s appearance and texture.
We hope you enjoyed reading our list of the 15 best toners for sensitive skin!